River Glen November

It is just amazing how the time flies by. Betsy and I cannot believe it is already the middle of November. We're starting to think about Florida, the 2016 season, students graduating and going on to bigger and better things.

The Redbud Team just got back from one of our favorite events, River Glen in New Market Tennessee. We brought six horses ranging from kids and ponies at their first events to first preliminary and moving back up to Intermediate. It suffices to say, it was a busy weekend.

Gracieann Williams and Grace Berry both ran in the starter division. Gracieann was on our own little West Point. It was her first recognized event and her very first event on Tucker. She was AWESOME! She put in a totally solid dressage test, no easy feat for anyone who knows Tucker. Then she went out of the box on cross country and made it all the way to the finish flags. Unfortunately, she missed a couple fences so got a TE, but we are so incredibly proud of her! She got special permission to jump and show jump and again she rode super. She made is all the way to the last fence but popped off after her stirrup fell right off the saddle. We count it as a success. I see a new saddle in her future and many more successful events!

Grace Berry is a new student for us. She is a great little rider and game enough to take little Charlie, who we're calling the Everlasting Gobstopper (Willie Wonka reference) to his first event. Grace did an awesome job. Charlie was a good baby horse, but green. She kept him in the dressage ring and jumped him around double clean in the cross country and the show jump. I hope she'' come play with is more often!

Alexis Tentler, member of the Mississippi State Eventing Team, completed her first beginner novice on Curious George (aka Heath). Alexis was super in the dressage scoring a 34.3. She had one rail down in the show jump, which we were tickled pink about since it was on the grass with lots of terrain AND she popped off in the show jumping a couple weeks ago at Virginia. She also ran around her first cross country without jump penalties; she racked up a few time penalties, but now big deal! Alexis finished 7th.

I ran around the beginner novice on my new baby horse, Ted. We made it through the dressage. Have some work to do there, but shows a lot of potential. He jumped around clean in the show jump and also was quite brave on the cross country although I got a few time penalties for putting his feet in the water. Turns out I didn't need to, he would have gone first. I think this one is a keeper. Really looking forward to getting him down to Florida.

Grace Clayton ran around the novice. She is getting quite competent. The dressage is still a work in progress. Grace is doing a good job with him. There were no major mistakes, just some tension throughout the test. Grace had a couple of unfortunate rails but still rode well. We are most proud of her in the cross country! The horse ran around so brave and confident. Grace chose to jump the proper trekehner instead of the option and she got Colby through the water, which has historically been her trouble fence, first time.

Betsy ran around the training. She really should have run the preliminary. All three phases were beautiful. After scoring a 32.1 in the dressage, she was in the top 5. Show jumping was flawless. Really. The mare jumped out of her skin and Betsy made it look easy despite rails coming down all over the place. The cross country also posed no problem, although she forgot a fence on course and had to circle back for it. Time penalties too her out of first place. Still, they are absolutely read for preliminary. Cannot wait to see them running around in Florida!

Alli George, also a member of the Mississippi State Eventing Team, finished her very first preliminary with her own Belle of the Ball. Alli has been working really hard over the last year. Lily is a super special mare. She ran around the show jump and cross country like she'd been doing it her whole life. We're so proud of Alli and Lily.

I bumped Heidi back up to Intermediate after spending the season at preliminary ironing out some holes. She was fantastic. The dressage was quite good. I made some silly accuracy errors but Heidi was on her job. She was even better in the show jump. I had one rail because I rode too strong into the triple. Otherwise, she was un-frickin-real! Cross country was also good. Went a little slow to have a positive go. She jumped everything out of stride and was straight an arrow. I think 2016 is going to be special year.